Synthetically Simple Ligand that Allows Production of More Robust Catalysts

Technology #15975

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Adam S. Veige
Matthew Elijah O'Reilly
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,765,102

Enhances Strength and Stability of Catalysts to Increase Potency and Reduce Replacement Costs

This synthetically simple pincer ligand can be incorporated into different catalysts to more easily manufacture a wide range of polymers, plastics and synthetic fibers. A ligand is an ion or molecule that binds to a central metal atom. One type, the “pincer” ligand, has been used to support a multitude of value added chemical transformations at metal centers. Ligands are highly lucrative because they are used to make catalysts (substances that initiate or accelerate chemical reactions and hence lower operating costs). The market for catalysts is expected to grow to $34.3 billion by 2024. The major problem is many available catalysts are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to produce, particularly those with rare or fragile starting materials. Opportunely, researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new ONO trianionic pincer ligand that is easily synthesized from commercially available materials. The ligand design enhances the strength and stability of the catalysts it supports, thereby increasing the active lifetime and reducing replacement cost. This ONO ligand will potentially lead to the development of less expensive catalysts and, when appropriately modified, may permit faster results and higher yields than can be achieved using existing formulas.


Ligand for developing durable catalysts


  • First synthesis of an ONO trianionic pincer ligand, allowing for an exclusive and highly competitive market advantage
  • Less susceptible to insertion reactions, leading to enhanced strength and stability during use and thus prolonged active lifetime
  • Design is simple and straightforward, decreasing time and money spent on production


Researchers at the University of Florida have created a new easily synthesized chemical composition that allows for the development of more robust catalysts. Starting with an OCO pincer ligand, the researchers replaced a metal-carbon bond with a metal-nitrogen bond to create an ONO trianionic pincer ligand. Because nitrogen bonds are less susceptible to degradation from insertion reactions (where an atom or group is inserted between two linked atoms, disrupting their bond), the resulting formula lasts longer.

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